Growing up, I was certain about a lot of things.
I was certain that every Friday my Dad would come home from work with a "Friday treat" for my brothers and me. Whether it be a Kit-Kat, a pack of Big League Chew, or the latest Disney movie – we could always count on Dad to bring home the goods on Friday night.
I was certain that my parents would absolutely let me chew on a piece of pork for 2 hours straight because "nobody leaves the dinner table until their plate is cleaned!" Same goes for glasses of milk.
I was certain that every Sunday, come hell or high water, we’d be sitting in the second pew on the east side of church at 8:15am on the dot. Then I was certain we’d come home and be handed a sock and some Pledge to dust our bedrooms from top to bottom. Good times.
Finally, I was certain that every Monday night, around 5:30 or so, I’d have a big plate of piping hot spaghetti sitting in front of me. "Sewer pipes" (rigatoni) for my Dad and angel hair pasta for my Mom, brothers and me, all topped with Ragu ground beef sauce.
It’s this certainty, or tradition, that I wanted to start incorporating into life at the IGE household. I pitched the idea to Ben.
IGE: "Babe wouldn’t if be fun to start having spaghetti night once a week?!"
IBE: "Hmmmm, ehhhhh, I don’t…"
IGE: "I’ll put ground beef the sauce! A whole pound for 1 jar!"
IBE: "Could you put in 2 pounds?!"
IGE: "Babe, I am not putting 2 pounds of ground beef in 1 jar of sauce. That’s just disgus…you know what, just forget it."
IBE: "What about BBQ Chicken Quesadilla night every week??"
IGE: "The last time I tried to make those 2 weeks in a row you said the only thing you could eat that often were gummy bears."
IBE: "Oh yeah."
IGE: "Hmmmm…I still want to do something once a week."
IBE: "Hey, how about we try something new from Trader Joe’s every week!?"
IGE: "BINGO! I knew I married you for a reason!"
Thus, Trader Joe’s Night was born!
We thought Trader Joe’s Tuesday’s had a nice ring to it, but agreed that Thursday’s would be better because their food is so easy to prepare and often times we’re looking for a quick fix meal late in the week.
Then Ben made the point that it’s sometimes fun to have beer with dinner on Thursdays and beer goes great with Trader Joe’s food. The logic makes sense. Just re-read that paragraph a couple times.
We kicked off the weekly event with something I’ve been eyeing since our local TJ’s opened a couple months ago – fresh, Prosciutto-Stuffed Pasta Purses & Arancini Bites!
These babies are fresh pasta "purses" filled with salty prosciutto, herbs and other mouth-watering spices.
They’re SO CUTE.
They take TWO minutes to boil in salted water, before they get nice and plump and the filling warms up.
On the burner next door, I had some Gino’s Marinara Sauce warming up to top my purses. Are you seeing how easy and convenient this dinner is?
Ben and I split the package, which was MORE than enough, and we both gooooobbled. The pasta was perfectly chewy and the inside was savory and salty. YUMMY! The Gino’s obviously got a 10 out of 10, and we both gave the pasta a 7 out of 10. It gave us permission to try the other various types of fresh pastas TJ’s offers. Including their LOBSTER ravioli. Hell-o!
To supplement, I made a box of Arancini Bites.
Now, Ben and I had REAL homemade Arancini Bites in Italy this Fall (see pic below,) so we knew these babies were up against some STIFF competition.
FYI – arancini balls are basically leftover risotto that’s been mixed with whatever you have on hand, stuffed with cheese, rolled in bread crumbs than cooked.
10 minutes in the oven and we were golden!
Ummmm – these were INSANE. 11 out of 10!
Ok, I got impatient (we were both starving tonight!) and took them out a little early, so the cheese in this picture isn’t tooootally melted.
We popped them back in for a minute or two, and they were perfect! Crunchy outside, creamy inside and gooey in the center. AWESOME!!!!
I’m loving this tradition already, and I’m certain that it will be a night to look forward to every single week.
Off to go watch "our shows" – NBC is all new tonight! See you!
What were you certain of growing up?
Do you have a "_____ night" at your house? What is it?